Design Overview (BORAXpress)

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BORA Xpress.png Applies to BORA Xpress

Design Overview

The heart of Bora Xpress module is composed of the following components:

  • Xilinx Zynq Z-7015 (XC7Z015) / Z-7030 (XC7Z030) SoC
  • Power supply unit
  • DDR memory banks
  • NOR and NAND flash banks
  • 3x 140 pin connectors with interfaces signals

This chapter shortly describes the main Bora Xpress components.

Processor Info

The Zynq™-7000 family is based on the Xilinx Extensible Processing Platform (EPP) architecture. These products integrate a feature-rich dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 based processing system (PS) and 28 nm Xilinx programmable logic (PL) in a single device. The ARM Cortex-A9 CPUs are the heart of the PS and also include on-chip memory, external memory interfaces, and a rich set of peripheral connectivity interfaces. The Zynq-7000 family offers the flexibility and scalability of an FPGA, while providing performance, power, and ease of use typically associated with ASIC and ASSPs. The range of devices in the Zynq-7000 AP SoC family enables designers to target cost-sensitive as well as high-performance applications from a single platform using industry-standard tools. While each device in the Zynq-7000 family contains the same PS, the PL and I/O resources vary between the devices. As a result, the Zynq-7000 AP SoC devices are able to serve a wide range of applications including:

  • Automotive driver assistance, driver information, and infotainment
  • Broadcast camera
  • Industrial motor control, industrial networking, and machine vision
  • IP and Smart camera
  • LTE radio and baseband
  • Medical diagnostics and imaging
  • Multifunction printers
  • Video and night vision equipment

The processors in the PS always boot first, allowing a software centric approach for PL system boot and PL configuration. The PL can be configured as part of the boot process or configured at some point in the future. Additionally, the PL can be completely reconfigured or used with partial, dynamic reconfiguration (PR). PR allows configuration of a portion of the PL. This enables optional design changes such as updating coefficients or time-multiplexing of the PL resources by swapping in new algorithms as needed.

Bora Xpress can mount two versions of the Zynq processor. The following table shows a comparison between the processor models, highlighting the differences:

Processor Programmable logic cells LUTs Flip flops Total Block RAM DSP slices Peak DSP performance (Symmetric FIR) Serial Tranceivers Peak Serial Transceiver performance
XC7Z015 74K Logic Cells 46200 92400 3.3 Mb 160 200 GMACs GTP (4 Lanes) 6.25 Gb/s
XC7Z030 125K Logic Cells 78600 157200 9.3 Mb 400 593 GMACs GTX (4 Lanes) 6.6 Gb/s
Table: XC7-Z0x0 comparison

RAM memory bank

DDR3 SDRAM memory bank is composed by 2x 16-bit width chips resulting in a 32-bit combined width bank. The following table reports the SDRAM specifications:

CPU connection SDRAM bus
Size min 512 MB
Size max 1 GB
Width 32 bit
Speed 533 MHz

NOR flash bank

NOR flash is a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) device. By default this device is connected to SPI channel 0 and acts as boot memory. The following table reports the NOR flash specifications:

CPU connection SPI Channel 0
Size min 8 MB
Size max 16 MB
Chip select SPI_CS0n
Bootable Yes

NAND flash bank

On board main storage memory is a 8-bit wide NAND flash. By default it is connected to chip select. The following table reports the NAND flash specifications:

CPU connection Static memory controller
Page size 512 byte, 2 kbyte or 4 kbyte
Size min 128 MB
Size max 1 GB
Width 8 bit
Chip select NAND_CS0
Bootable Yes

Power supply unit

Bora Xpress, as the other Ultra Line CPU modules, embeds all the elements required for powering the unit, therefore power sequencing is self-contained and simplified. Nevertheless, power must be provided from carrier board, and therefore users should be aware of the ranges power supply can assume as well as all other parameters. For detailed information, please refer to Power_(BORAXpress)

CPU module connectors

All interface signals Bora provides are routed through three 140 pin 0.6mm pitch stacking connectors (named J1, J2 and J3). The dedicated carrier board must mount the mating connectors and connect the desired peripheral interfaces according to Bora pinout specifications.